Journal of Theoretical Medicine
Volume 5 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 59-66


Molecular Medicine Unit, University of Leeds, Clinical Sciences Building, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK

Accepted 23 October 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While much effort is given to the modelling of tumour angiogenesis, little attention is paid to lymphangiogenesis and its potential role in tumour progression and metastasis. This is due at least in part to the controversy that surrounds tumour lymphangiogenesis—opinion is divided as to whether tumours actively promote the development of lymph channels in the same way that they promote the development of vasculature. Given that it was decades before Folkman's theory of tumour angiogenesis became widely accepted, it is possible that the concept of tumour lymphangiogenesis will in time also become generally accepted and hence may itself become the subject of mechanistic studies and mathematical modelling. This review summarises the process of lymphangiogenesis and the potential mechanism of its induction in tumours.